Tips to Spending the Holidays at Disneyland

Happiest Holidays on Earth

The happiest place on earth, just got merrier. November 10th marked the beginning of the holiday season at Disneyland Resort, and a jolly holiday it is indeed! Lights dazzle throughout the park and the magic of the season can be seen around every corner.

With a 60-foot Christmas tree at one end and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at the other, you’ll be dropped into a winter wonderland within steps of entering the park. Holiday decorations fill Main Street and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is exciting to see. Every day at 5:00pm during the holiday season, Christmas carolers sing holiday tunes as all the lights on Main Street are simultaneously lit.

During the holiday season, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is a fan-favorite and for good reason. Illuminated by thousands of sparkling lights, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is shining, shimmering, and splendid! Nothing is more magical than sitting on Main Street with your favorite Disney dessert, watching the castle glitter.

Speaking of dessert, with the holidays comes special holiday treats. Candy Cane Beignets can be found at the Mint Julip Bar in Adventure Land and Campfire S’mores Funnel Cake are served at Stage Door Café in Frontier Land. These holiday desserts are seasonal treats so give them a try before it’s too late; you won’t be disappointed.

Of course, with all of these special holiday festivities, comes crowds. However, if you plan right, you can avoid a lot of the long lines. With thousands of sparkling lights and special holiday tunes, It’s a Small World is a must during the holiday season but the lines are often unreasonably long. Do yourself a favor and go during the daily parade. Most guest will flock to Main Street to snag a spot for the parade which will leave a perfect spot for you in It’s a Small World.

Another way to beat the lines is to utilize Disney’s MaxPass Program. For ten dollars, you’ll have access to FastPasses in both parks right at your fingertips. Choose your FastPasses in advance and make the most of your time by booking them around your schedule. However, I would only recommend using the MaxPass system if you arrive to the park early in the day. Throughout the day, some of the popular rides run out of MaxPass timeslots and you’ll be stuck using your FastPasses on attractions with already short wait times. Start early, and pick rides that are less likely to have short lines.

Make sure you head over to The Haunted Mansion and experience the thrill of Halloween and magic of Christmas at the same time! Based on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Haunted Mansion Holiday décor decks the halls with skulls and holly as Jack Skellington and his “Halloween Town” Friends discover Christmas.

The fun doesn’t stop there! Disney’s “Believe… in Holiday Magic” Fireworks Spectacular bursts through an endless diamond sky as the holiday spirit rains down in colorful streaks. Holiday tunes fill the air as the fifteen-minute firework show lights up the sky. But that not all that fills the air. Anything is possible at Disneyland which you can see by the snow that rains down on Main Street at the end of the show. Even in Southern California’s famously warm weather, Disneyland manages to capture the winter spirit with nightly snowfall that kids and adults alike will be memorized by. With flurries that even Elsa would approve of, you won’t want to miss these frozen fractals swirling through the air, mixed with the scents of cinnamon and spice.

One of the most important tips I can give you, is to get a park hopper pass and visit both Disneyland, and Disney’s California Adventure. The additional cost is worth every penny as California Adventure also features special holiday surprises. Cars Land is overflowing with seasonal decorations and is a joy to see during the holidays. Horns honk to the tune of your favorite winter tunes and Radiator Springs residents drive around decked with Santa Hats. Tire wreaths and cone Christmas trees line the streets for a sight you won’t want to miss.

World of Color also gets a holiday makeover as it turns into the “Season of Light” version of your favorite water show. Lights and projections featuring your favorite characters dance around as streams of water burst through the air and mix classic and modern Disney films with holiday surprises. 

Grab a pair of mouse ears and spend some time at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure this holiday season. It truly is a whole new world.